The Letcher County Central High School Lady Cougars, now 3-5 on the season after this past week’s play, will participate in next week’s 12-team First Trust Bank Holiday Tournament hosted by Hazard.
The tournament begins December 27. The participating teams are Hazard, Betsy Layne, Leslie County, Shelby Valley, LCCHS, Menifee County, Knott County Central, Prestonsburg, Bell County, Harlan, Magoffin County and East Ridge.
Letcher Central 45 East Ridge 34
After struggling offensively through three quarters Saturday, host Letcher Central converted 11 of 12 free throws in the final six minutes to defeat the East Ridge Lady Warriors, 45-34, and raise their record to 3-5.
While the Lady Cougars struggled to score, their defense was top notch in limiting the Lady Warriors to just a free throw through the game’s first 11 minutes.
Britney Tackett scored the Lady Warriors’ first basket and cut LCC’s lead to 12-4 with 4:36 left in the first half. Tackett finished with seven points for the 5-3 Lady Warriors.
A pair of free throws by Shelby Hall with nine seconds left in the first half gave LCC a 22-9 half-time advantage.
The Lady Cougars were very careless on the offensive end and committed 10 turnovers in the first half. In addition, East Ridge’s defensive pressure came up with eight steals, which explains why the Lady Cougars managed just 22 points in the first half.
The Lady Cougars’ carelessness on the offensive end continued in the third quarter, but LCCHS was bailed out by East Ridge’s abysmal shooting — three of 18 in the first half and seven of 23 in the second half for just 24 percent for the game.
On the other hand, the Lady Cougars stayed in front by making shots when they didn’t throw the ball away or have East Ridge steal it. The Lady Cougars shot 59 percent (10 of 17) in the first half and 31 percent (five of 16) in the second half for 46 percent for the game.
LCC led the Lady Warriors 30- 20 entering the final quarter. To this point, the Lady Cougars had made just four of 17 free throws but, beginning with a pair of free throws by Paige Caudill with 6:03 left to play for a 32-20 lead, the Lady Cougars made eight consecutive free throws the rest of the game and finished with 11 of 12 from the charity line in the last six minutes to preserve the win.
While struggling at the free throw line (two of eight), junior guard Alyssa Adams led the Lady Cougars with a game-high 14 points. She also had a game-high tying six rebounds but committed seven turnovers.
Paige Caudill, who was five of six from the charity line, finished with 11 points, five rebounds and two assists.
Shelby Hall, who made six of eight free throws, finished with eight points and six rebounds. Destiny Hall wound up with six points and six rebounds. Samantha Tubbs, Cameron Kincer and Emma Maggard chipped in with two points each. Maggard also claimed five rebounds as the Lady Cougars won the rebounding battle 39-22.
Breathitt County 61 Letcher Central 34
The young and inexperienced Lady Cougars continued their uneven up-and-down play Friday in losing to highly regarded Breathitt County, 61-34.
The Lady Cougars expected to compete against host Breathitt County because the Lady Bobcats had just lost for the first time at home, 65-52, to Leslie County on December 15, one night after the Lady Cougars had taken those same Lady Eagles to the wire before losing 56-54.
According to Coach Dickie Adams, it’s hard to beat someone when you don’t score and his Lady Cougars struggled offensively early. LCC trailed 8-3 after the first quarter and 20-15 at the half and then fell even further behind, 38-24, going into the last quarter.
Senior guard Kacey Cox, after going scoreless in the first quarter, finished with a game-high 18 points for the 6-1 Lady Bobcats. Senior Amanda Griffith finished with 13 points.
Junior Alyssa Adams led the 2-5 Lady Cougars with 10 points. Shelby Adams scored seven points. Paige Caudill, Emma Maggard and Cameron Kincer finished with five points each. Destiny Hall wound up with two points.
Breathitt County’s offense benefitted from four treys while LCC had only one trey. The Lady Bobcats converted 17 of 28 from the charity line while the Lady Cougars made just nine of 20 free throws.
Leslie County 56 Letcher Central 54
The preseason 14th Region coaches’ selection as the top team, the Leslie County Lady Eagles, had their hands full in edging the visiting Lady Cougars, 56-54, December 14.
The favored Lady Eagles struggled against the Lady Cougars’ defense and trailed LCC 13-12 after the first quarter and 26-24 at the half.
After several lead changes in the third quarter, Leslie County ended up on top 40-38 heading into the final quarter. This one went down to the wire, but the Lady Eagles managed to hang on down the stretch for the victory.
Both teams shot the ball very well. Leslie County made 21 of 43 field goal attempts, including just five of 14 from behind the arc for 49 percent. LCC managed 17 of 40 for 43 percent — including six of nine from behind the arc.
The Lady Cougars converted 14 of 24 from the charity line while Leslie County could manage just nine of 23.
The Lady Eagles outrebounded LCCHS 25-22.
Shelby Sparks’s 15 points led 4-1 Leslie County. Kelsey Gay finished with 11 points and five rebounds.
Junior guard Alyssa Adams’s game-high 16 points led the 2-4 Lady Cougars. Junior guard Shelby Hall chipped in with 12 points and seven rebounds. Junior guard Cameron Kincer added nine points and Paige Caudill finished with eight points. Emma Maggard added four points while Grayson Collier and Destiny Hall wound up with two points each. Samantha Tubbs finished with one point.